By Nancy Virden (c)2021
Deer come into my back yard regularly. Lately, it has been as many eight. At this moment , there are two adults only several feet from my window. They cannot see in; I try to sneeze quietly.
The first one to wander into view kicked at the snow until he had formed a warmer bed and laid down for a nap. I wonder at the unique beauty and character of this beast, one of God’s creations. It may appear injured, however, this is antler shedding season. At the base of where an antler once was is a perfectly round red spot. I assume his other antler will shed soon, then he will grow new ones.
Sometimes what we think is broken in us is part of our regrowth process. Valentine’s Day could hurt, emotions might be excruciatingly painful for any reason, and yet a new way of thinking, fresh hope, and joy on the other side is ours for the taking. Life is never easy. It is full of struggles. Deer repeat this shedding process once a year between January and April. We too continue to shed old patterns and feel emotional pain. Growth is guaranteed if we will allow it.
The result is a mind and human spirit that may seem broken but in reality is part of who you and I are and will become. We are beautiful creations, wonders in this world of uniqueness.
This particular deer lives in a cold climate. In this city, he may suffer from malnutrition. He is young. Each of these factors restricts antler growth. The financial value of his shed antlers is probably very low.
It is disheartening to judge ourselves by what others say is valuable. No matter how similar, no two environments are exactly the same, either for deer or for us. As complex human beings, God’s most valuable creations, we are affected by neglect, lack of affection, and all of life’s challenges in different ways. Comparison cheats us because no one else has lived our lives. This deer is not deficient or less wonderful because of his experiences, and neither are we.
Regardless of how you feel in this moment, you may feel differently in the next hour. Tomorrow will not look like today. Change is inevitable, growth is possible. Nothing is endless except for the unfailing love of God to which we can cling.
Today’s Helpful Word
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.
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Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
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